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Thread: Article: Op-Ed: Was Microsoft Flight Really That Bad?

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    I thought there was a lot of good in Flight, but there were many deficiencies as well. I was a beta tester coming from real world flying experience and a FS user since Bruce Artwick's version before Microsoft took it over. I appreciated Microsoft's intent to market Flight as an arcade style game, but it never grabbed me as the next generation flight simulation. None of my beta suggestions were ever incorporated (such as reporting the wind direction as done in most real-world aviation reports - wind coming from not wind blowing towards, or availability of a logbook). I was not disappointed when the plug was pulled.

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    Until now I never bothered, but thanks to this video I decided to have a go. Flight with the FlightToolkit is actually quite good fun, though lacking as a sim in some important ways. I imported my FSX scenery so I have the whole world and there are a decent variety of aircraft available. The Hawaii and Alaska sceneries are top notch but even FSX scenery looks pretty good if you turn the settings up to Maximum. Tech-wise the Flight team made a lot of nice improvements over FSX in the areas of graphics, performance, physics and addon support.

    Some particular notable features: Interactive checklists. In-game map where you can drag the aircraft around and adjust heading and then resume flying. You can step out of the aircraft and walk (or run) around the plane or airport. Aerocaches (though I haven't really played with these yet). Greatly improved camera support.

    If you find it's too game-like and you don't like the HUD you can turn it off in the settings. You can also un-check the default setting that make the flight model less realistic.

    The big problem I see was not the technology, but Microsoft's business model was awful and the business heads seemed to be utterly clueless about flight simming. They should have make the whole world available (like FlightToolkit does) but then make the upgraded region DLC an optional upsell. This would have been not much different from Orbx regions. Also, selling "Deluxe" versions of aircraft (meaning you actually get a cockpit) vs the no-cockpit aircraft was dumb. This is the sort of thing that makes people hate the DLC model. Finally, MS failed to figure out a way to include third party developers. Shutting out PMDG, A2A etc was suicide. I can understand that developing a base platform is expensive and it's not good business to be shut out of the bulk of the revenue when it goes to third parties but the solution is to do something like what DTG is doing which is to take a cut of third party DLC sold though the microsoft store (without precluding selling through other channels).

    As a sim, Flight lacks an autopilot, ATC, flight planner, real-world weather, GPS and navaids (at least near as I can see). I know some planes have a limited moving map sort of GPS but not all the GPS functionality and certainly nothing that can store a flight plan. Also, there's no support for jets or aircraft other than fixed wing piston props. These are all things that could have been added over time but sadly the business side failed before these shortcomings could be overcome. In addition, Flight is 32-bit though I expect the development team would have been able to go to 64-bit given that they seemed to be modernizing the code base and removing obstacles to going 64-bit.

    FlightToolkit is an impressive work. For example, Addon Builder's repaint tools do everything but the actual painting. Overall a really slick package and it's too bad the developer decided to call it quits, but I can't blame anyone for giving up on this community given how toxic it gets sometimes.

    Anyway, in hindsight I can appreciate Flight for what it is, a very fine technical effort and a shame it was shot down by clueless management and an un-appreciative community.
    Last edited by bdf369; 03-12-2018 at 04:37 PM.

  3. #23

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    Was it really that bad? Let's see.......they hijack the SDK, they attempt to cater to "Gamers", they show the people involved in MSFS the door and let a moron with a Hawaii print shirt run the show. Yes it really was that bad. I present to you my preview vid I did during that time. (I had early access to MS FAIL)


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    Quote Originally Posted by ricardo_NY1 View Post
    Was it really that bad? Let's see.......they hijack the SDK, they attempt to cater to "Gamers", they show the people involved in MSFS the door and let a moron with a Hawaii print shirt run the show. Yes it really was that bad. I present to you my preview vid I did during that time. (I had early access to MS FAIL)

    Hey, Pilot Wings Resort was probably the best flight simulator ever build. Don't judge it!
    Check out my YouTube Channel for FSX, X-Plane and other simulator content!
    https://www.youtube.com/c/Drawyah/

  5. #25

    Default Importing FSX Scenery to MS Flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by andyjohnston View Post
    For what it was, Flight was a *great* little sim. If they had given people what they really wanted, which was access to heavy irons and whatnot, it would've gone over great. The scenery (which was limited) was fantastic.

    You can get it from one of the other sites completely free with everything unlocked and you can import the default FSX scenery library so you can fly GA anywhere in the world. People have also got aircraft such as the Beech Baron working in it.

    Also, contrary to what the video says, there were some plopped runways.

    I've always been disappointed it didn't go over better, but some people refused to accept anything that wasn't MSFS.
    How do you import the FSX scenery to MS Flight?

  6. #26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bdf369 View Post
    Some particular notable features: Interactive checklists. In-game map where you can drag the aircraft around and adjust heading and then resume flying. You can step out of the aircraft and walk (or run) around the plane or airport. Aerocaches (though I haven't really played with these yet). Greatly improved camera support.
    FSX already had a map you could drag the aircraft around with and change things like heading. So that certainly wasn't new. I didn't play Flight long enough to discover the new camera controls, which were admittedly good. I was put off mainly by the lack of simulated systems in the aircraft.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdf369 View Post
    If you find it's too game-like and you don't like the HUD you can turn it off in the settings. You can also un-check the default setting that make the flight model less realistic.
    Then you are left with a feature poor flight simulator and a very limited area to fly in. The fact they chose a group of islands as the first scenery area showed just how limited they intended it to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdf369 View Post
    Anyway, in hindsight I can appreciate Flight for what it is, a very fine technical effort and a shame it was shot down by clueless management and an un-appreciative community.
    You can't blame the community for being unappreciative. That is Microsoft's fault for not researching what the community wanted. Microsoft decided to give the community what they wanted it to have. Those same technical improvements could have gone into a new flight simulator, but Microsoft chose otherwise.

    =====================================

    I just watched the video by Michael Hayward. Sadly it gives the wrong answer to the question no one was asking.

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    Now a history lesson. Around the time of MSFS 2000 there was a rumer that MS was looking for a way to end MSFS.
    then came along Combat Flight Sim 3. That killed CFS, so why not try it on MSFS. It worked again. Instead of yelling to bring it back everyone yelled that it was junk. Soooooo M.S. pulled another fast one on every one. The only reason for MSFS 2002, 2004(cof) & FSX was they were already in the works (M.S. won't pay if not getting paid.). It has really hurt the flight sim community. Back around 2000-2001 there was all kinds of flight sim sites take a look now. we have this site, its sister site and about 3 or 4 other free to download sites. One or two magazines (one only line the other hard to find in the news stand. M.S. is still having a hard time killing owr belove "?HOBBY?". Maybe one day we will all joke about how bad dated M.S. made MSFS really look. (I miss FLY & FLY2 pushing M.S. in the market (rip R.H. you are missed).

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